burnt toast

Tag: carrots

The Carroty Smoked Salmon Alternative

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Look who’s here. A third of a year later. Look at me just waltzing in like I’ve had the busiest four months in my life. Ha! Whatever. My attempts for 2016 have been abysmal, so I can’t make any promises, but I shall attempt to better myself on the “cooking, holding off the eating part, photographing, and then, once that’s done, and only then, eating” -front. Let me introduce you to my first attempt below.

I may not get out much, but I feel that I am speaking truthfully if I say that I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t like smoked salmon (food-group avoiders/haters, you are exempt). It’s what people whip out to up their brunch game, or to add some glam to their last-minute assembly of party canapés. As soon as there’s smoked salmon anything, people lose their shit and will leave said event with the best memories ever, for life. Good for them. That’s how it should be I reckon – simple, elegant, crowd-pleasing, delicious. And unforgettable. But you know what? I fucking hate smoked salmon. There, I said it. For years I have tried to fall in love with that stinky oily rag of sea creature, but deep down I’ve always known that there’s no way in hell I will ever grow to love that stuff. So instead, I compromise and eat it anyway, because there are worse things in life(definitely better ones, too), and the lovely people offering it to me only mean well. And to be honest, I love how smoked salmon is used, especially the ultra clichéd cream cheesed and capered baguette sliced variation. Again – simple and fancy. I was actually slowly getting to terms with the “either eat and slightly regret or admire from afar and feel sad” relationship I was forming with it, when I accidentally tripped over a vegan youtube channel that had some pretty interesting ideas about smoked salmon alternatives, ones that for once weren’t of the tofu / tempeh / seitan variety. Hurray! I decided to try out the recipe, and try it I did. And you know what? I’m really into it.

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Roasted carrots people! What a versatile vegetable. Marinated for a day or so, then used the same way as salmon would be. It even looks a bit like smoked salmon. Those of you who love the original, you will most probably be disappointed, so maybe don’t make this. However, everyone else who has the same complicated relationship with pungent sea dwellers as I do, venture forth.

 

Roasted Marinated Carrot to Use as a Delicious Topping

or

The Carroty Smoked Salmon Alternative

(titles aren’t my strength today, soz)

This can be adjusted to however much you want to make, but I’d start off with the amount below, just in case you decide that you are not a roasted marinated carrot person

 

2 medium-large carrots, peeled

a little olive oil

salt

tin foil

 

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1 Tbsp soy sauce

2 pinches smoked paprika

 

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Rip off a nice-sized sheet of foil – you’re going to make a little carrot package out of this, so make sure there’s enough of it. Drizzle the middle with a teensy (1 tsp) bit of oil. Plonk the carrots on top and turn them a few times so they’re oiled all over. Sprinkle over the salt, then wrap it up tightly, rolling up the edges to form a nicely sealed bag. Place it into the oven and roast for about 45 min – 1 hour. Check on it after 30 min to see how they’re going. You don’t want the carrots to brown!

Once they’re nice and soft when tested with a knife, take them out of the oven and let them cool in their tin bag. When they’re room temperature, grab a big jar or container and combine the remaining olive oil, lemon juice, soy and smoked paprika. Thinly slice the carrots at an angle and transfer them into the jar and close the lid. Give everything a nice shake and put it into the fridge. Leave it for at least half a day before garnishing your toast with it.

I love this the classic way with a shmear of cream cheese and a sprinkling of red onion and capers, but please, do whatever you want with it.

Carrot Cake

So what are you, a cake or a biscuit person? This is pretty vital for our relationship, so be honest, okay. It’s like the dog or cat question. This will either deepen our friendship or make it disappear in a puff of orange smoke. Yes orange. I’m a cake person, through and through. But if I’m really honest, I’m actually an icing person. Cream cheese icing. Hells yeah. It’s the most important part of the cake.

I don’t care much for chocolate cake, unless it’s in brownie form. Cake needs to be fluffy and moist – none of that airy dry, crap, but also not too moist, because then it will become extremely heavy, like those vegan gluten-free sugar free bricks you find at the health food shop. Carrot cake is not supposed to be health food. It’s supposed to be cake, it says it in the name. Also, there is no way you will find raisins in my carrot cake, they just ruin it. And this cake is best for breakfast. Or lunchtime with champagne. Because carrot cake, my friend, is awesome, and it doesn’t need a special occasion.

The Best Carrot Cake

This recipe is adapted from Leila Lindholm’s cookbook, „Backen mit Leila“. Fabulous book, you should get it.

150g softened unsalted butter

240g caster sugar

3 eggs

2 pinches of salt

1 ½ tsp vanilla essence

1 ½ tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground cardamom

½ tsp ground ginger

180g plain flour

3 tsp baking powder

300g finely grated carrots ( about 2 ½ large ones)

100g roughly chopped walnuts

70g softened unsalted butter

320g Philadelphia cream cheese

1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence

1 lime, finely grated rind and juice from one half

100g icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 150°C degrees. Line a 24cm baking tin with baking paper and set aside.

In a big bowl, beat the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time. Beat in salt, essence and spices. Add the flour and the baking powder and mix well. Beat in the carrots, then the walnuts.

Spread into the tin. The batter will be nice and thick thus easy to spread. Let it bake for 55 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Let it cool.

In the meantime, beat the butter and the cream cheese fort he icing. Add the vanilla, the lime and the icing sugar and beat until fluffy.

When the cake has cooled, spread the icing over the cake. Get a knife and cut yourself a piece, you’ve deserved it.

By the way I’m a cat person, albeit a strange one. See, some cats don’t like me. And sometimes, very very rarely, I have been known to like dogs. But only if they tapdance.

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